simple past and used to

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haseli22

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Dear native speakers,

What's the difference in meaning between the following sentences?

1) When I was a kid, I played tennis a lot.
2) When I was a kid, I used to play tennis a lot.

Thanks.
 

bhaisahab

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Dear native speakers,

What's the difference in meaning between the following sentences?

1) When I was a kid, I played tennis a lot.
2) When I was a kid, I used to play tennis a lot.

Thanks.

There is no difference.
 

haseli22

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So why do English people use two structures when there is no difference in meaning?
 

bhaisahab

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5jj

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So why do English people use two structures when there is no difference in meaning?
There frequently is a difference in meaning between 'used to' and the past simple. It just so happens that the difference in the two sentences you mentioned is minimal.
 

emsr2d2

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Only two? We have lots of different ways of saying the same thing. That's what makes English so varied (and so difficult to learn!)

When I was a kid, I played tennis a lot.
When I was a kid, I used to play tennis a lot.
As a kid, I played tennis a lot.
As a kid, I used to play tennis a lot.
When I was a kid, I played a lot of tennis.
When I was a kid, I used to play a lot of tennis.
As a kid, I played a lot of tennis.
As a kid, I used to play a lot of tennis.
I played tennis a lot when I was a kid.
I used to play tennis a lot when I was a kid.
I played a lot of tennis when I was a kid.
I used to play a lot of tennis when I was a kid.
I played tennis a lot as a kid.
I was a regular tennis player when I was a kid.

I could go on. I won't. My fingers are tired. There are probably another dozen or so ways of saying exactly the same thing.
 
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